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Thread: Another switch of rules for Hong Kong

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    Another switch of rules for Hong Kong

    All Blacks switch rules for Hong Kong
    Tuesday, 23 September 2008
    All Blacks switch rules for Hong Kong - New Zealand's source for sport, rugby, cricket & league news on Stuff.co.nz

    Yet another law change looms for the All Blacks and Wallabies, who will scrap some experimental law variations (ELVs) in Hong Kong to prepare for their European rugby tours.

    Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive John O'Neill said he had agreed to the New Zealand Rugby Union's (NZRU) wish that the November 1 test in Hong Kong be played under the universal ELVs brought in on August 1.

    That means most infringements at the ruck and maul will be sanctioned with a penalty rather than a freekick, which was used in the Super 14 and Tri-Nations.

    It brings the laws into line with those currently being trialled in Europe, which include some ELVs such as the 5m offside line at scrums, and no kicking out on the full from a ball passed inside the 22m line.

    "It's fairly likely the game in Hong Kong will be played under the August 1 ELVs," O'Neill said today.

    "We've been discussing it with our New Zealand friends, and they're of the view that because it's the start of the spring tour for both sides, that for continuity it would be better to use the same laws across all of those spring tour games.

    "In the spirit of Anzac, we'll go along with it."

    O'Neill insisted the freekick sanction - which was the main point of contention in the northern hemisphere - made the game more appealing to players and spectators.

    He confirmed the ELVs used in the Super 14 and Tri-Nations would continue next year, before the International Rugby Board (IRB) finally decides which ones to adopt on August 1.

    "It's not a happy situation to have three or four versions of the laws being used in any one calendar year."

    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said the law changes wouldn't have a big impact, although the pace of the game would change.

    "Tactics may change in terms of your ability to speed the game up. You can profit with points more easily with a full-arm penalty, whereas with a broken-arm penalty you have a potentially better option to maintain the intensity and advantage that you have," Deans said.

    Meanwhile, O'Neill quipped his attempts to have the NZRU put up the Bledisloe Cup in Hong Kong had fallen on deaf ears.

    The All Blacks' 28-24 win in Brisbane ensured they retained the Bledisloe Cup for a fifth consecutive year and left no silverware on offer in Hong Kong.

    "We did have that discussion.

    "It was a bit of tongue and cheek, going into Brisbane we said `why don't we make Brisbane the decider for both the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe, and then we can play a one-off in Hong Kong?'. They took about two seconds to say `no'," O'Neill said.

    Still, he said the test was "very close to a sellout," with 6000 Wallaby fans making the trip from Australia.

    Japan, the United States and even Twickenham were potential future venues for Bledisloe Cup tests, O'Neill said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamethrower View Post
    [B]the test was "very close to a sellout," with 6000 Wallaby fans making the trip from Australia.
    One could argue it is totally a "sell out"...

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    I wonder if neutral ground Bledisloes will have the same passion.

    I can see it dieing if they start whoring around the world chasing dollars.
    A Bledisloe in another country is just a demonstration match.

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    Champion Moses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamethrower View Post
    I wonder if neutral ground Bledisloes will have the same passion.
    Seems to go alright in Melbourne..

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    It's not really a Bledisloe anymore as the Kiwis have retained this fine trophy!

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    I agreed with taking a game to Hong Kong but they should have kept it separate - called it the "Hong Kong Cup" or something...

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